Archive for August, 2010

Maybe the first TV ad….

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

This may be the first TV ad ever regarding the Seventeenth Amendment

Hat tip to ColoradoPols via Enik Rising

The saddest thing is the reason I came across this….I can’t fall asleep because I can’t stop thinking about a puzzle my Seventeenth Amendment paper is presenting.

Happy Birthday

Saturday, August 21st, 2010 is 5 years old today.  There have been 175 posts over that time.  Here are some of the highlights:

For some stats (since August 2006, not ’05.  Note, most people seem to read through Facebook)

Thanks for reading folks!

    State Leg Tid Bit

    Friday, August 20th, 2010


    Finally, out in California, the special election runoff to fill Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado’s state senate seat looks like a probable win for Republican Sam Blakeslee over Democrat John Laird. I mention this not only because I happen to live in Senate District 15, but because more votes were cast in this special state legislative election than in today’s entire Wyoming primary. This central coast district, which runs from Santa Clara all the way to Santa Barbara, is represented by one state senator. Wyoming, as you may know, is represented by two United States Senators.

    …also interpreted as California could be an outlier when it comes to state legislatures.


    Thursday, August 12th, 2010

    Today was a classic father-son day. My dad was in town, and we decided to make the trek up to Cooperstown. We drove there yesterday and went to the Baseball Hall of Fame today. I had been before, but I was about 11 or 12 and didn’t really appreciate or know the history well enough. Today I donned my John Mabry jersey. By wearing Cardinals gear, it made it easy to strike up conversation with other fans of NL Central teams.

    My Dad and I took our time seperately getting through the three floors of the museum. I was actually proud of myself, thinking I took longer than pop to go through the first two floors. It took me about three hours, and I was convinced my Dad would be in the main hall. I looked for him, called him, looked again, and he called back. It turned out he had just started the second floor, taking three hours himself on the first. I then went through the second floor with him, catching this classic sketch on the second trip (I had actually never watched it in full until today. It is quite funny if you have never taken the time to watch).

    We left the museum; had lunch; and returned to see the plaques. My dad was excited because this year Herzog was inducted.

    His plaque was on a wall by itself awaiting future inductees

    The White Rat however was a little before my time.  His World Series win was before I was born, and the first Cardinal manager I remember was Joe Torre.  It was however neat to see the first Hall of Famer I really rooted for: The Wizard

    But no one can match up to The Man. Looking at the stats in the museum really make you understand how underappreciated Stan Musial is. Three MVPs; top ten in: hits, doubles, RBIs, runs; top 20 in: singles, slugging, triples, leading to a career .331 average in almost 11,000 at bats.

    I also got to reminisce about the 2006 World Series. I saw Carp pitch Game 3 in person, and they had his Jersey from the game.

    And if you talked to me about baseball from 2006 – 2007, I likely obnoxiously rose my ring finger and said: RING! And I got to see said RING!

    After the Hall, my Dad and I toured the memorabilia shops. I was surprised to see how excited my Dad got over Brooklyn Dodgers stuff, and he ended up being the one buying baseball cards. In the shops, we were able to follow the Cards games via sports tickers.

    St. Louis completed a three game sweep of the Reds to take over first place today. The series involved two grand slams and a brawl where our backup catcher got spiked in the head by the Reds’ starting pitcher. However probably the greatest fact of the series is that it was the first time since Tony LaRussa started managing the Cardinals that he used the same lineup for three straight days. He has managed the Cardinals since 1996!

    You gotta love baseball.


    Thursday, August 5th, 2010

    In the next three years, I will spend considerable time dissertating. Making my first real contribution to the academic world. For the last month or so, I have worked on formulating a research question, and it is tricky.

    To brainstorm, I have read a lot. Visited (and revisited) books. Turned the pages of other’s dissertations (for one, I got through the first ten pages of an adviser’s book where he said it was an improvement on the dissertation, prompting me to read what he first wrote: his dissertation)). So in coming up with my own dissertation topic, I have sought inspiration a range of topics. From Presidential strategies to Legislative Professionalism; from Ballots to Minority Party Rights; from Voter Turnout to Ideal Points.

    So what advice did I get from my advisers last week? Read more.

    At first, I did not know how to absorb this. It was not the only advice given, and they seemed relatively pleased with where I was at this stage. It however was a little difficult to think I primarily needed to continue what I was doing, but in a conversation today with one of them where I apologized for presenting a scattered idea, an adviser replied: “Well it should be scattered, we are telling you to wander.”

    Wandering is very different for me. I like to ponder problems over time, but generally the ultimate goal is known and solving the problem is a small step to get there. I agree with their advice, but it is difficult to stick in this stage where I am not tangibly producing something. I am not checking generals readings off a list, getting a data set in order, or producing another draft. I sit at my desk with a book and scribble down research thoughts in my notebook. Somewhat stupidly however I want to have something to report. Just very different to say: still figuring it out.

    Again, I agree with the advice given, and I fear I am sticking to much to a particular doable idea and just molding it a bit. Not necessarily allowing myself to fully explore others. My topic will dictate years of work. I however am impatient and want to get started.

    There ya go for a rambly Steve post. Let’s see what I think of it in three years from now.